Senior drivers often get a bad rap. But there’s no reason why drivers can’t stay on the road as they get older. It’s important to remember that vision and reaction time tend to diminish as you age. Acknowledging and accepting this will allow you to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe while you are driving. To help, we’ve put together a list of what we feel are the top 6 safety tips you can use to keep driving safely.
- Only Drive in Good Conditions
Not only should you only drive in good weather conditions, but you also need to make sure that you are in good condition. That means you shouldn’t drive if you are tired, angry, and especially if you have been drinking or using other perception-altering substances (even if they are medically prescribed).
- Make Sure You Are Staying Physically Active
By staying physically active, you can improve your strength and flexibility, making turning the steering wheel, looking over your shoulder, and other activities involved in driving easier.
You can take advantage of the outpatient therapy services available to residents in our independent living communities. It’s a convenient way to get professional advice on the exercises that can help you stay safe behind the wheel.
- Don’t Drive Distracted
Avoiding distracted driving not only means that you should put your cell phone away while you are driving. You should also avoid eating and drinking while driving, listening to audiobooks, music, or talking to other passengers if that is distracting to you.
- Know the Effects of Your Medications
Many medications can affect driving safety, no matter what age the driver is. If your medications can cause drowsiness or dizziness, avoid taking them before getting behind the wheel.
And never drive after taking a new medication, not knowing how it will affect you. If you have any questions about a medication or its side effects, you are welcome to contact the team at Westminster Pharmacy Services.
- Keep Regular Vision and Hearing Screenings
Hearing and vision tend to decline with age. It’s important to hear things such as emergency vehicles or trains while you are driving. And vision problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma can make it hard for you to see at night. Scheduling regular vision and hearing screenings can catch problems early, making it easier to correct them.
- Keep Your Driving Skills Updated
There are driving courses available to older drivers that can help you keep your driving skills polished. Some insurance companies will even offer a discount for seniors who participate in these courses.
If you notice that driving is becoming more difficult, or your friends or family are concerned about your driving, please consider stopping driving. Choosing to stop driving does not take away your freedom. There are many options available that will allow you to continue to be independent but ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.